By Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu
In its drive to promote local content policy in the nation’s oil and gas industry, the Eterna Oil Plc recently secured the exclusive right to blend and distribute Castrol Automobile and industrial lubricants at its Sagamu, Ogun State facility.
The franchise, a step further in the business relationship between the two companies is said to have culminated from its long-term business dealings, especially from the 2015 distribution agreement with Castrol.
Speaking at the official launch of the made-in-Nigeria Castrol lubricant, the Company’s Managing Director, Mr. Mahmud Tukur, said that the Nigeria’s local content drive in the oil and gas sector received a major boost as the company succeeds with its business expansion to produce variants of Castrol oil thereby bringing an end to the importation of the variants into the country. And that the new Castrol GTX variant was developed in response to specific market requirements for Nigeria and is positioned as an affordable brand that meets manufacturer engine specifications.
According to him, the Castrol Automobile lubricant which comprises of four products – Castrol GTX Essential, Castrol MAGNATEC, Castrol EDGE and an entry-level engine oil Castrol Motor Oil is selected to serve a wide spectrum of Nigerian consumers.
The Managing Director said, “We, at Eterna plc, are extremely proud to be the exclusive and authorized distributor of Castrol Lubricants. A key milestone is the production of Castrol GTX Essential at our plant. This completes the robust engine lubricant portfolio suitable for use across Nigeria’s vast range of cars both old and new, and to suit our variable fuel and road conditions.
“In August 2017, the latest member of the Castrol GTX family “Castrol GTX Essential” was produced in Nigeria. This Engine oil was developed in response to specific market requirements in Nigeria/Africa and is an example of how globally developed technology is brought to bear in ways that address local conditions, meet engine manufacturer’s specifications whilst remaining affordable.
The Managing Director who disclosed that Eterna’s journey with Castrol began with Eterna importing and distributing Castrol lubricants, noted that the relationship later developed into Eterna becoming Castrol’s authorized distributor for Marine, Energy & Chemicals products.
According to him, leveraging the relationship, Eterna established a strong brand presence and later built its 45,000MT Capacity Lube Oil blending plant in Sagamu in 1997. “This new facility enabled Eterna to locally blend select Marine lubricants in drums.
“In 2015, Castrol and Eterna commenced discussions on the inclusion of the Automotive and Industrial range of Lubricants as part of an extended offer to the Nigerian market. Now in 2017, Eterna is the authorized distributor of all Castrol Lubricants grades in Nigeria across Automotive, Industrial, Marine and Energy.
According to the MD, Castro believes in finding opportunities to collaborate and build partnerships in countries to achieve success. Adding that the long relationship with Eterna as an established distributor for marine and energy grades gave Castrol the confidence to appoint them as distributors for the Automotive range as well.
“Castrol brings world-class lubricants to the market to help provide superior vehicle protection to motorists, reducing downtime. The toll blending, distribution and selling would create job opportunities.
“We are also encouraging small entrepreneurs to set-up kiosks selling lubricants. We will also be training mechanics to enhance their skills and deliver better service to their customers, he said.
Eterna’s official market entry for Castrol commenced with a launch on Friday, 6 October 2017. The marketing team started with hosting a series of mechanic road shows targeted at local mechanics and designed to familiarize them with the range of Castrol products. This is in addition to Eterna service stations and Castrol-branded kiosks will be instrumental in reinforcing the partnership.